On a rare evening off work, I settled down to watch the latest of BBC Three’s allegedly groundbreaking documentaries. In the past, we’ve been treated to individuals with freaky eating habits, not-so-informative sex education shows, and mothers and daughters with serious issues. Tonight, it was the turn of Cherry Healey in the form of her latest documentary series HowTo Get A Life.
The majority of the ‘documentaries’ offered up by BBC Three force me to sit there with my head in my hands. They often seem forcefully dumbed down, created by producers desperate to connect with the ‘urban yoof.’ As an ‘urban yoof’ myself, I find these documentaries incredibly patronising and I rarely learn anything, nor do I connect any of them to my own personal life.
I admit that I was a fan of Cherry’s previous documentaries for the channel, charting her stories on losing her virginity, dating, and parenting. However, I can’t really the say the same for the latest offering. The first in this series, titled Single vs Settled, presented us with Cherry pondering whether or not settled life had turned her into a bore. Over the course of an hour, we were greeted with several arrogant individuals with incredibly inflated egos, sleeping their way around town. It is honestly a miracle one of them hasn’t ended up with an STI or unwanted pregnancy.
Cherry’s own admission that she hadn’t changed her relationship status on Facebook to ‘married’ slightly shocked me. She stated that was putting off the change because she almost didn’t want to admit to herself that she was settled, committed, and no longer young, free and single. Is married life really that awful? Must we stop having fun as soon as we reach a certain stage in our relationship? I've been with my boyfriend for almost two years now – it’s a milestone relationship for the pair of us – and, if anything, I feel as if my life has become more exciting.
I'm with an individual who shares most of my interests: nights in with a takeaway and a DVD, nights out to either a restaurant or a cinema, fun days and nights out with our extended groups of friends – both single and those ‘tied down’ – and our mutual sarcastic status. I'm with someone who is supportive and encouraging of my writing, on top of my other personal endeavours. Likewise, I am also incredibly supportive of his education, and will continue to support him until – and after – he achieves his personal goals. The past 21 months have honestly been some of the most exciting months of my life, filled with love, laughs, and incredible memories.
Some of my single friends lament at my relationship status. They are enjoying their lives, being free and able to do whatever (and whoever) they want, whenever they want. They consider my life boring, and I should consider diving head first into their lifestyle. But it really doesn’t appeal to me. After all, is sleeping around with anyone who’s game for it really that exciting or cool? For me personally, the idea of sleeping with upwards of 100 people is absolutely abhorrent. Never mind the fact that it would be ridiculously tiring, I have no idea how you would even fit 100 people into your life, never mind the circa-170 men Bianca has fitted into 22 years of life. I fail to see how anyone could be proud of that sort of lifestyle: sure, have your fun and enjoy yourself, but knowing that your legs are almost like a revolving door? The idea is absolutely revolting to me. I find it incredibly disgraceful that this behaviour seems far too common in Modern Britain, and even more disgraceful that this sort of behaviour is rewarded with reality TV shows, documentaries, and even book deals.
I know that most people of my age group would find the idea of settling down horrifying, but I find that it suits me. I'm sure that those featured in the programme tonight enjoy their own lifestyles and are, indeed, having fun. Maybe I'm just incredibly old for my age, but I would get rather bored of getting drunk, taking drugs, and sleeping around all the time, fairly quickly. Some may consider my life boring, but it’s my life. And it’s a bloody amazing one.